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Faith Group Hosts Vaccination Clinics For Rural Iowa Immigrant Communities

Joshua Hoehne
The vaccination clinics will be free and first-come, first-serve. "We want everybody to have a vaccine," Father Guillermo Treviño Jr. said.

An Iowa City religious group will host free vaccination clinics for rural immigrant communities starting this week.

An Iowa City religious group will host free vaccination clinics for rural immigrant communities starting this week.

Iowa City Catholic Worker will open the free clinics in Muscatine, West Liberty and Columbus Junction. All of which have large percentages of Black and brown populations. The group will also arrange for at-home doctor visits.

In a press statement, the group said the clinics will "help increase access and distribution of the Covid vaccine in marginalized communities."

According to a study published by the Kaiser Family Foundation, "there is a consistent pattern across states of Black and Hispanic people receiving smaller shares of vaccinations compared to their shares of cases and deaths and compared to their shares of the total population."

Father Guillermo Treviño Jr. is one of the leaders for the effort to increase access.

“I've experienced that personally, just one of the things we take for granted that, you know, oh, I can just sign up online. You know, I speak the language, not everybody has that access an opportunity,” Treviño said. "It just seemed there was a big need, with everything going on for people."

Treviño said they arranged for the clinics to be right after church services to be as convenient as possible.

"We've been very careful and obviously with COVID and everything, but this is just too important that we had to ask the bishop for permission, the Catholic Diocese here in Iowa, and he allowed it. He said, 'Oh, absolutely, this is what we're supposed to be doing,'" Treviño explained. He is getting his second vaccine this week.

The group had planned on distributing the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, but since the federal government recommended a temporary pause of its use, it will go forward with the Moderna vaccine.

The bilingual clinics will be first-come, first-serve and will be administering about 50 vaccines at the three different locations.

Friday, April 16, 6-8 p.m.
Saint Mary and Mathias Church
215 West 8th St.
Muscatine, IA 52761

Sunday, April 18, 1-3 p.m.
Saint Joseph Church
107 W. 6th St.
West Liberty, IA 52776

Sunday, April 25, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Saint Joseph Church
102 Gamble St.
Columbus Junction, IA 52738